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Do you know the value of your name? Your logo? What about your slogan or tagline? If not, then it’s time to invest in branding. 

A small business is only as good as its brand, and a strong one can take you from a side street shop to worldwide success. 

Think Apple, Nike, Starbucks. All these businesses have invested in their respective brands. 

They are now household names known for world-class customer service and quality products that make them stand out from the competition. 

As an entrepreneur with a small business with limited resources, it’s easy to think that investing in branding is just something big companies do because they have all the money. 

But if you want to grow into an enterprise company – like those mentioned above – branding your small business is essential.

But first, what is Business Branding, and why is it essential for your small business

What is Branding? It is when you make a company’s name known. 

Your brand is what helps you define the relationship between your company and its target audience, potential customers, employees, investors, and partners. 

Business branding often includes these areas: advertising, media coverage, and product design.

Simply put, brand building is a way to promote your company’s identity and personality so that it stands out from the competition.

Why You Need To Focus On Branding Right Away If You’re a Small Business

Branding should focus on new entrepreneurs starting in the business world because it will support their brand from inception through growth into adulthood. 

Here’s Why

1) A Brand Identity Is What Helps You Create a Lasting Impact

Branding helps your business stand out by giving you a voice that customers want to hear. It’s something they won’t forget about easily after anything else has been forgotten or experienced. 

2) Branding Is the Secret To Take Your Small Business To the Next Level

Small Business branding is worth the hype regarding how much it aids a business in marketing its products. 

Branding can help your small business with online marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), social media presence, customer service, and more. 

3) When You Build a Brand – You Attract Quality Workers

As a small business, you must keep your team compact and yet efficient. For this, you need quality workers. 

When you have established a strong brand identity – you have an easier time attracting talent because you will be seen as more desirable by job seekers.  

People can identify which small business or startup they want to work with based on branding alone.

4) A Brand Can Help Your Small Business Gain Recognition and More Authority 

Branding gives your company some authority when speaking about industry trends or practices. People know who you are from branding efforts. 

A brand identity can thus go a long way in establishing your say and attract more significant potential investments.

5) A Strong Brand Identity Can Help You Find the Right Brand Partners

Small businesses should always be on the lookout for lucrative partnerships. A brand identity can help you by making it easier to secure brand name collaborations, providing a steady stream of business.

There are many brand partnerships that a brand could enter into. One of the most common is when brands partner with other brands to create jointly owned products. 

An example is an espresso brand partnering with a brand of coffee beans to create an exclusive line of caffeinated drinks. 

Steps To Get Started on a Brand Identity of Your Small Business

Brand identity includes the branding tools you will use on your website, social media, online store, and other marketing materials. It can also have a logo design in some cases. 

A brand is not just what something looks like. It is how everything works together to make people know who you are.

But before the brand-building process, you need to sit with yourself and analyze your business from all angles. 

Here are some small business branding strategies to help you with that- 

1) Define your branding goal 

Decide who you want to reach – your target audience and then build a brand that speaks directly to them. This requires the need to define your branding message. 

There are two main things small businesses should focus on when developing a branding message. The first is an emotional aspect of their brand identity, and the second is its relevance in today’s marketplace. 

A brand that is an excellent example of implementing this is Vox Collegiate

They brand themselves as a brand that addresses the disparity between excellent schools and struggling schools and the life-altering impact on students. 

Their emotional aspects speak to the community, and their aim for empowering youth through education brings home the pressing relevance in today’s marketplace. 

2) Spell out your brand story

Brands are not formed in isolation. A brand story is how you tell your brand’s unique story through brand elements such as visual identity, tone of voice, and other assets. 

For instance, a female-led brand with a strong brand story is Sylvia’s Restaurant of Harlem. 

Their brand story is about its founder, Sylvia Woods, and how she created the Harlem restaurant as one of the city’s most important landmarks. 

Her brand identity turned her into a world-famous meeting place. Not only did Sylvia’s offer quality food for families, but it also served as the first spot people thought of to host meetings in Black America.

A brand story can also be about the values behind your company or brand- such as Nike’s “Just do it” slogan reflects their brand message of empowerment through sports.

The brand story solidifies the rationale behind the products or services that your business offers. Defining your brand through a story can be a powerful marketing tool to reach your target audience. 

3) Develop the logo design and visual elements with branding in mind 

The first aspect of a brand identity is the logo. A logo should be simple, unique, and recognizable. It is often the logo that will be used for various marketing materials such as letterhead, business cards, packaging, etc.

What message am I sending? What logo should my logo be in the shape of to convey that message? A logo is not just a design; it’s an extension of who you are.

Some examples of companies with great logos are Black and Mobile and Avila Diana Art

4) Make Sure That Your Brand Identity is Consistent

A lot of money is spent on branding when the result you want isn’t what you get. You want your branding to be consistent across all platforms so that people know who you are and what to expect. 

The good thing about small business branding is that you can control this consistency without much effort. 

An excellent example of brand consistency is The Honey Pot Company. Their brand is consistent in everything they make and advocate. 

They specialize in making organic products for women by women – giving empowerment and cruelty-free marketing campaigns the integrity they need by actually supporting their products with their values. 

This makes it easier for customers to come back because they know what they will get every time.

The idea is to take time and really think about the kind of image you want to portray and let your brand identity be its medium. 

The aspects will enrich your goal as a business and help you streamline your energy to gain the maximum output.

Some Easy Branding Tools To Help You Get Started

Designing your branding is a great way to start small and get the ball rolling on branding efforts. When you have a DIY mentality, it’s much easier to decide how you want things done because they’re all yours! 

Choosing the Right Visual Elements: 

Suppose you’re someone who has no experience in design. In that case, it is crucial to find platforms that help you find the right combination of colors and other design elements. 

Platforms such as Canva or Adobe Spark simplify this process to make branding quick and easy. 

Naming Your Brand: 

Another important aspect of branding is naming your brand! One way to make branding more personal is by incorporating your name into the branding. 

This can help you create a professional feel and gain trust with potential customers.

Some brand name examples incorporating the brand service are Hugh’s Hot BowlsNail Xperience, and Soul Food House.

Logo creation service:

There are a plethora of websites out there that can help you generate your logo. 

There are branding tools that offer logo creation services for free such as Logomakr and 99designs. Search for logos that fit your branding style and design preferences.

Company Branding Programs:

Another way to build on your DIY spirit is to enroll yourself in programs and online courses. 

Branding courses on Iconic eLearning are great resources for small businesses to learn more about branding their company in the most effective manner possible. 

Web hosting marketplaces:

Web Building Platforms such as Squarespace and Wix have started providing branding services with their marketplaces. Services include logo creation, graphic design, web design, and other branding options. 

This is a great way when you’re new to the brand-building process and can help you get the consistency that your brand identity needs without employees. 

Social Media Pages:

Social Media has become an innovative breeding ground for various small businesses. 

You can amplify your brand, set up your product or service shop, reach your target audience quickly and gain an edge over other small businesses all through the power of social media. 

A solid social media presence directly equates to solid brand identity. Social media is the one aspect of your business that can elevate your brand positioning and is an easy tool to conquer and maintain brand consistency.

Graphic design services :

If you’re someone who has moved upwards from a one-person operation, you can think about clearing space on a budget to hire a graphic designer. 

Many platforms have made it easy for you to hire someone on a contract or project basis. This can rationalize your budget and leave your hands free to focus your creative energy on other important things. 

Branding agency: 

For those who want to get serious about branding themselves or their small business, specialty branding firms like The Iconic Expressions offer complete branding services that range from brand strategy to website development. 

This will help you professionally build a brand on a much larger scale and solidify your brand identity multi-folds.

Conclusion

The branding process does not end with the first few steps. It is an ever-evolving and dynamic process that requires constant replenishment to remain relevant.

When you establish a brand identity, you define your principles and state your values. 

And as your brand grows and evolves, you may find yourself branding the product or service you offer, branding your employees, and even branding your company culture.

It may start small with you searching for color palettes in the middle of the night. Still, like every entrepreneur’s spirit – you have to believe in the ability to dream big and take action, and improving upon that action.

You might be thinking that this is just another thing you need to worry about, but branding can make a big difference in your company’s success. 

Whether developing an identity or creating collateral pieces for marketing, investing time and money into your brand will pay off exponentially over the long run. 

A strong brand identity is a critical component in generating growth for your business. 

Still, it’s important to remember that brand awareness and brand equity don’t happen overnight. 

It takes time for the customers to get used to your brand and learn what they expect from you. This long-term commitment will be well worth the efforts later on.

A strong brand strategy benefits companies big and small alike – so start one today before someone beats you to it!

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